In an article from March 15, 2021, the civil society alliance Break Free from Plastic announced the publication of an open letter available for signature by businesses as part of its “We Choose Reuse” campaign, in which it demands strong political actions in Europe to set up successful reuse systems.

In the document, the campaigners describe the current challenges hindering successful implementation of reuse systems, which include, among others, high investment and early operating costs to run reuse/refill systems, the “unfairly low production costs of toxic and disposable single-use products,” lack of legislative clarity, low level of engagement of the public and authorities to encourage citizens to take up reuse options, as well as the absence of standardized systems and designs to enable upscaling.

By signing the initiative, stakeholders commit to supporting “a truly circular, zero waste, and non-toxic economy, by eliminating single-use products and offering reuse solutions, services, and products, e-commerce, and supply chain solutions.” Further, the letter argues it is necessary to discourage linear consumption patterns and over-focus on recycling. The campaigners demand political decision-makers take actions that “create [..] conditions for reuse and refill business models to thrive” and define “ambitious reuse targets and support these by the necessary measures, standards, and legislation.”

Nathan Dufour, Consumption and Production Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe, commented that “reuse systems are the only solution forward to effectively move away from single-use plastics. We are at a critical time for businesses, with clients demanding greater corporate social responsibility and alternatives to single-use.” Already over 100 businesses have signed the letter, which will be officially delivered to decision-makers on June 16, 2021, for Refill Day.

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We Choose Reuse (March 15, 2021). “A coalition of environmental organizations seek corporate allies to demand strong policy for reuse systems in Europe.”

We Choose Reuse (March 2021). Businesses for Reuse: Uniting to create a circular economy & sustainable future.